Afghans conjure Irish victory in dream debut

Afghanistan yesterday completed victory over Ireland to further a remarkable rise up the pecking order of international cricket. Playing in their first-ever four-day tournament, the Afghans won by seven wickets in the Intercontinental Cup in Dambulla, Sri Lanka.

The Afghans now have a 14-point lead over Scotland, with the top two meeting in the final in November. Ireland have won the last three Intercontinental Cups, which is for ICC associate and affiliate nations.

England were knocked out of the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand on Saturday, losing their quarter-final against West Indies by 18 runs. The game was reduced to 36 overs per side and West Indies made 166, despite at one stage being 135 for 2. David Payne, the Gloucestershire seamer, took 4 for 19.

England fared even worse in reply, being dismissed for 148. Durham's Ben Stokes top-scored with 24.

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